Early this week, I talked about how the fava bean is the earliest bean that you can plant. I planted the Extra Precoce A Grano Violetto variety that I got from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. This is an unique variety from Italy that turns purple if you let the beans dry, althought I plan to eat most of them as fresh shelling beans. I planted them the same date I planted my peas on Friday, April 11th. It took longer for them to sprout than my peas, but sprouting they now are. I began noticing them sprouting on Tuesday, April 29th.
In the above picture you see a fava plant as it just begins to emerge from the ground. I love watching that first plant bust through the soil! The leaves are all bunched up at first.
The leaves begin to open up in about a day. The leaves are curled up. The leaves will begin to open up more. They are very sturdy leaves. The young seedlings are pretty solid, more so than most other things I plant.
The germination rate wasn’t as good as I would have liked. I am still going to give the seeds a few more days before going in and planting some additional seeds in any spot where there are gaps. I had to do this same thing last year. The time they took to germinate was a longer than I was hoping for. The temperatures were pretty cold a few nights. If I do end up planting some extra seeds, I expect them to germinate a lot faster as the average temperatures continue to rise as we have entered May. Once I am confident I have two full rows of favas, I will put some straw down to stop weeds and help the soil to retain moisture. I have a lot of clay in my soil, so retaining moisture is always a struggle. Stay tuned for more updates on the crop as the season progresses.